Three people were hacked to death and several others critically injured as the war over rent erupted in another city slum.
Residents of Nairobi's Kiambiu slums in Eastleigh Section Three said the three men were dragged from their houses and slaughtered on the roadside. Others were only saved by police.
They said the gangsters targeted particular homes and business people.
On Wednesday night, armed gangsters went on a killing spree, destroying property of unknown value. About 10 houses, shops and butcheries were raided and looted.
Trouble started at 9 pm when a man said to be leading a campaign for rent reduction engaged in a confrontation with another tenant.
Later, the man allegedly mobilised his supporters who broke into homes, shops and butcheries.
A posho mill belonging to Ms Alice Njeri was set ablaze. One of her employees, Mr Peter Kimemia, told the Nation that the gangsters broke into the house at 2 am, carrying petrol in jerry cans.
"They doused the house with petrol and set it on fire. We managed to escape before fire consumed the building," he said.
Yesterday, regular and Administration police, led by local chief James Mutuiri, were patrolling the slum.
Police broke into a mud-walled house said to belong to the gang leader and confiscated furniture and other items.
They also found a list of 52 names alleged to be members of a group agitating for rent reduction. The list indicated that each had paid Sh20 registration fee.
Next to the house was an empty room which served as the "Kiambiu Land Tribunal Office".
Police also recovered copies of a circular addressed to landlords, stating that from November 18, tenants would pay Sh500 for cemented houses and Sh300 for other types.
A relative of one of the slain men said he was ordered out of his house and slashed to death. "They accused him of belonging to the Mungiki religious sect."
Another victim, Ms Virginia Wanjiku, said the gangsters broke into her house at 1 am and demanded to see her husband. "I told them he was away but they attacked me with metal bars." She suffered neck injuries.
The residents were allocated the land next to the Eastleigh Moi Airbase by the City Council last year.
Police yesterday arrested 15 Mungiki sect members in Nairobi's Eastlands area as the crackdown on the outlawed group intensified.
Nairobi Provincial Police Officer, Mr Geoffrey Muathe, said that the Mungiki adherents were arrested in Mathare area and Kayole where they had attempted to take over the matatu termini.
Muathe also said that police had impounded two Nissan matatus which were being used by the outlawed sect members to move around.
The Officer Commanding Buru Buru Police Division (OCPD), Mr Japhet Koome said police on patrol within Kayole's Masimba and Kanisani matatu termini arrested 10 Mungiki adherents who were among a group that was trying to take over the stage management.
Koome said that police were on high alert within the area to ensure normal operations for matatus.
In Mathare 4 area, police officers from Muthaiga police station intercepted two Nissan matatus in which the Mungiki men were travelling in to the area to interfere with matatu operations.
Mungiki Movement (Kenya) Updates 2001
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